Satan Knows

I let my kids stay home from school today.

We’re still in our pajamas. 

We ate honey buns for breakfast.

Call it irresponsible, maybe it is.

There’s a million other things I need to be doing today as we prepare to move into our new home, but instead I gave horsey rides. I colored “in our bibles” (Gracie doesn’t understand the concept of a coloring book, it’s all bibles since that what her mom colors in). I gave “hairplane” rides and ate gummies instead of fruit. 

Today I filled my cup because the last several weeks I’ve let Satan steal at my soul.

Y’all the mind is the devils biggest play ground. 

One tiny seed of doubt placed by Satan on the right day, at the exact right- already vulnerable time and then devil has won- in our marriages, in our homes, in our workplace, in ourselves. 

I would swear that Jesus tells my husband days before, “Hey man, could you put this little bug in Katie’s ear for me today? I’m going to talk to her about it, but you know how she can be sometimes.” I can see my husband as he nods in approval knowing exactly ‘how she can be’ and then acts in obedience. 

I’ve been busy with work, Tired and worn down emotionally and physically- as mom, as wife, and just so inadequate with my faith over the last (I’m ashamed to say) month. You know? All those things you are too because are there really enough hours in the day?

I remember when it turned for me now, looking back but it wasn’t until a very serious sit down with my husband and two days later with Jesus that I fully understood why.

The conversation went like this. “Do you not see the pattern, baby? You feel down on yourself over weight, you feel negatively about work, you feel like you’ve failed at your task as a wife, you feel like you fall short some days as a mother.” 

These are all things I feel in relation to the things I compare myself to. 

These are the things that the world tells me I am less than.

These are the things I have let emotionally wear me down, making less time to be present in my calling. Making less time to be present with Jesus, even present with you.

Satan knows.

Satan knows your desire to have the family like hers. 

Satan knows that you want your house tucked away ever so neatly for company.

Satan knows that your coffee has been minimal and so are your nerves.

And so he waits. And waits. Until the time is perfectly imperfect and he plants a seed. 

If you are not very careful in your thinking, even while firm in your faith, that seed will grow too.

What has life taught you about weeds in a flower bed? If you don’t pick them out, they will devour what it good, what is purposeful.

And y’all it’s with tears in my eyes that I tell you that is a real thing. Satan rules the world, but Jesus chooses you- even when we lose sight of Him, live in opposition of Him, let darkness crowd Him out, He never loses claim to us. We are His. 

I’ve told you the bug from my husband; here’s the word from God.

“Gather the elders and all of the inhabitants of the land to the house of the Lord YOUR God, and cry out to the Lord.” Joel 1:14

“The seed shrivels under the clods, the store houses are desolate; the granaries are torn down because the grain has dried up” Joel 1:17

To you that may look like some of that thoust and shan’t Old Testament scripture, but it was conviction for my heart.

Satan planted a seed in me of inadequacy. It’s one of his favorites so it’s safe to assume that you too have let this grow in your life. Feelings of less than, the poison of comparison.

What is torn down is because of what has been dried up.

This is why it is absolutely necessary that we, every single day without fail and with fortitude, seek the kingdom. SPEND TIME WITH JESUS because you can be sure Satan is spending time with you and ladies you are MORE.

When your faith is dry the destination is defeat. You will be torn down because Satan knows all of the right ways to tear you apart and Jesus cannot fight for those He does not know. 

KNOW Jesus, y’all. Don’t just read about Him or hear about Him or send prayers to Him. KNOW HIM.

Come to me. Today, yesterday, tomorrow I am YOUR God. And her God and her God. I am personal to you, to her, to everyone who calls my name I am precisely anything and everything You need individually. Cry out to me.

Cry. Leave the rehearsed and fancy words for a term paper, y’all. Jesus don’t care about your vocabulary; He cares about your heart. 

Give Him your emotions. Give Him your feelings. He wants rawness, He wants real. 

In the Old Testament times people tore their clothes as a sign of mourning.

“Tear your hearts, not just your clothes, and return to the Lord your God. For he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in faithful love, and he relents from sending disaster” Joel 2:13

Here he said keep your clothes on girl, tear your heart up instead. I don’t want your clothes, I want YOU. Hearts bleed, baby. Let it pour, that’s it’s purpose. Spill it all at my feet, come back.  

Over and over and over, run back to me. I forgive you, I care for you, I’m not mad at you, I’m never out of love for you, and I only want what’s best for you- that will always be me.

Today, I chose to not compare myself to any other mom. Today I chose to give Satan no seat. Jesus has the whole couch, I even gave Him a blanket in hopes that he would stay, but when he doesn’t? When I feel torn down again?

I’ll know it’s a direct result of which seed in my garden I let dry up. It will be my fault, and so I’ll run back, not to all of the things I wish I were, but to the One that tells me I don’t have to be. 

Hugs and Blessings

Jesus is Just

“But God, that doesn’t feel fair.”

I’ve said a thousand times, even when I’ve known better. 

“This is not you, God. This doesn’t align with you. Aren’t your promises bigger than heartbreak? Show me You, Lord.”

And of course He did… but not how I anticipated.

Jesus is justified. 

He does not do wrong. He does not know wrong. He does not choose wrong. 

He is just. His plan is just. His timing is just.

I think sometimes I get so caught up in life that I forget all of this stuff we do everyday: the cleaning, the running, the endless loads of laundry, the job, the bills- there’s purpose there. 

Everyday. There’s purpose.

And I find myself being ungrateful sometimes even more than I say thank you.

This morning I woke up to a little girl hungry for Cheetos at 6AM and instead of being so very grateful that this little body with ten fingers and ten toes full of life stood in front of me healthly, though demanding, I chose to ask God for a better day than yesterday. 

“No baby, not chips for breakfast. God please let this day go smoother.” All in the same breath.

She cried. I thought I might too.

I keep finding myself in all of these tears. These almost irrational tears that just well up out of nowhere. You’re tired, you’re stressed, you’re worn down, maybe you’re hungry? Yes, I’ve literally cried for being hungry before- a 100hr work week will wear on you- but I find myself just sitting there in tears crying about this or that saying “this is not fair.”

I’ll allow myself ten minutes and then I piece it back together.

It’s fine. I’m fine.

I have to work. Im mom. Im wife. I don’t have time for this.

But Mama, you have to make time to break. Stopping piecing it together, moving forward in shambles, just making it with wreckage to your next mess and just fall.

“And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a self indulgent mind to do what ought not be done” Romans 1:28

God gave them up means God hands it over. 

We ask God for all of these things.

 I need this to be easier, God. I need this to feel better, Lord. God, please- I need… 

and these feelings of insufficiency, of need, crowd us out. We let our feelings, rather than God’s design and command, be an overriding guide for our behavior. Self-indulgent feelings open a gateway for sin and result is always pain. It’s  inevitable suffering and bottomless trauma because we could not wait, our feelings couldn’t be patient, on the things that God had planned. 

Instead, WE try and piece ourselves together, WE try to hold things up, WE try to pick our feet up, one in front of the other. 

We keep asking and asking and praying and praying lord I want, Lord I need.. and so He hands us over. 

The things you want most in this life will smother you if you let them. 

Even Jesus had to say God not my will, but yours. God if there could be any other way to save the world, let it be that instead. But there wasn’t. There was no other way. The cross was it. Jesus was it. 

Jesus is still it.

Stop trying to make a way. Stop making these plans. Stop bringing prayer before you bring praise. 

Anytime we feel like God has set us aside, we have to know that it is most always because some action of our own has asked for us to be sat there- and so He did.

I feel so ashamed sometimes, when I get outside the well kept borders of my faith. 

God lets me fall, but God also reaches for me. 

“You are called to belong to Jesus” Romans 1:6

That’s it. That’s all you HAVE to be.

Take some of the pressure off yourself, girls. You don’t have to be the perfect wife, the home-room mom, the size 4. Just be His.

See laundry for seven and don’t ask God for a way through it all- thank Him for the laughs those dirty clothes had that day.

See a load of dishes and don’t huff because it doesn’t end- thank God your jobs are enough to feed your family without fail. You’re not hungry.

When your baby girl asks for Cheetos, give in. Let her eat them and watch her face light up and thank God that she is here and alive and well because there was a time that losing her was a scary reality for you. 

And when it all gets to be too much,  because it will sometimes, don’t you dare pull it together. 

Break. Fall.

Let God reach for you. Let him put it back together: the wife, the mom, the full-time job, the home. Not in your own self-indulged way, but His way.

It may not always feel fair, but it will always be right. 

“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11

Thank you, God, for my life, for its entirety, all of it- for its purpose. I don’t know what it is, I don’t know where it is going, but I know where it started and that’s enough. You’re enough. I give you everything, all of it, trusting you will make of it, of me, something beautiful. Reign over me Jesus. Take all of me and leave only You. Thank you God for everything, thank you, God, for you.

Amen

Katie 

The only thing that stays the same is change; the only thing that keeps us well is perspective. Phil. 2:12-16

As I sit in my living room floor, watching the weather from my bay doors, sick babies in arms, I’ve watched this transition over the last hour. Dark to light, misted showers to empty clouds, leaves that were so intact and sure of their places that, with just a small gust of wind, fall in spirals to the ground.

I’m now several weeks behind speaking with you ladies because my heart has been much like the weather. I’ve had bright days that have felt fine, and dark ones that have felt hopeless. I’ve experienced fullness, but more than that just the driest cup, and to be so sure of the things I stand for, the One really, I have let this world blow me all over the place, taking pieces of me and loads of my emotions with it. 


Our scripture is starting in verse 12-16. Today is about Paul’s church. It’s about Jesus.

My most loved people, rest in obedience to the one who takes care of you. Do not become sidetracked. If it’s me that you look for, it is always me that you will find. I’m working with you, in you, for, always, what is best for you. It will be good because I am good. Trust me. Do not take for granted my plan; please do not protest and criticize what I am doing. There is no safer place to be than in my will. You are not safe with yourself, but instead cling to what is good. Remember when nothing else is, I am- hold onto my word and be a light, the kind that is always brightest in the dark.

Let me tell you a story.

There was this man. The one you read about in the books. He was charming, faithful, loving.. a provider- loved his wife so much. Told her everyday how important she was, what she meant to him, how he loved her, but the woman was broken. She wasn’t faithful to her husband. She couldn’t believe the things he said, she didn’t trust his love. Instead of accepting this unheard of, unfathomable love, she slept around with this man and that one, leaving one bed for another and her husband just devastated. 

On no particular occasion, the husband knew where his wife was.. away from him of course, but he was still worried for what he cared for- so he makes her dinner. He searches for his wife, knocks on the door of some man- whichever one of the week- and says I know she’s in there, here is dinner for y’all. I brought her more clothes and here is some cash for y’all for her to help her make it through the week. I know you have her, but I’ll never stop caring for her because she is mine. Use what I have given you and take care of her.

Really think about that; I hope you feel it as I have. The husband is Jesus, the wife is you. It’s me. Scroll back up. Read back through it.

“She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished her with silver and gold, that she turned and gave to idols” Hosea 2:8

I am provided for. I am loved. I am never alone…

And I am as full as I allow myself to be.

Last night I sat on the bar in my kitchen and I cried the ugliest tears while I made dinner for my beautiful family. My husband interceded, as he always does, and said “Katie, baby, people are going to be people (assuming he knew what was wrong), you just have to keep being you.”

And for the first time in wasnt people I was disappointed in. It was myself. I know what the world is; I’ve made peace with that- I also thought I knew who I was and somehow I let the world take it from me. 

I have trusted fear over faith, my own provision over Gods, and it has lead me to sleep with the enemy instead of resting my head at home.

Daniel 2 says he changes times and seasons, gets rid of something’s and builds others up- he reveals deep and hidden things and he knows what lies in the dark, but he also knows the light lives within him.

God created this world for light and dark, for foggy rain and for periods of clarity. We were meant to be full some days and poured out others- but we were not meant to be thrown around by the wind, by the world. God created the leaves to fall, not you babe.

You- he builds up. You- he protects. You- he loves. You- he provides for.

He said I know what’s in the dark, but you know me.

I dont know what your darkness is, or what has your cup drained this week but I know what God has revealed to me through Hosea, through Daniel, and through Paul in Philippians. 

Things are changing, but I am in control of that change. You will try and fix things yourself, deal with them yourself, manipulate them yourself- you will find yourself away from me in these seasons, but I will provide you with the food and warmth you need while you are away- even though you are unfaithful to me, I will never stop doing good for you. I will fight for you in you- it is for good. 

Faith is strong enough to conquer the world most days, but today faith feels like placing an empty cup under a faucet of truths and praying with confidence that He will fill me back up.

Be good, do good in the shadows and in the sun and be grateful in both. 

The only thing that stays the same is change; the only thing that keeps us well is perspective. 

“Katie, you’re only human, baby. You’re not perfect, I’m sorry” he told me last night wiping my masacara stained cheeks.

And I’m not, neither are you- but the second best thing I’ve ever learned is Jesus uses the broken that you are, what you have left to give… to create in you a heart like him… 

the first?

even when you’re not perfect, He saves you as blameless.

Better late than never

Xoxo

Katie 

When I told her I was getting married, Mama said “Well don’t wear black”

Today is my anniversary. One entire year of the most beautiful chaos my life has ever known.

One Sunday, two days before today, I came home from work. It had been an exhausting day. Don’t y’all know what it means to literally be so physically and emotionally exhausted that your tears are literally the only thing that kept you afloat? September of last year, I was right in the middle of one of the darkest seasons of my life. It was a constant turmoil- always something else being said or done, pushed around by this or that, and limited, my boyfriend was doing all he could to keep my head above water. 

He talked me into coming to his house that night instead of going home to wash off all I could of that day’s stress and the empty and unnecessary conversation I had just before. He knew how tired I was, just tired of being tired.

I walked in to a dark foyer, my eyes still wet with tears and dripping mascara to find him down on one knee. 

He apologized. He said Katie, I’m sorry, this is all I have, but please. I am so tired of watching other people destroy what I already know is mine. Will you marry me so I can protect you now and forever. I promise you will never hurt like this again. I love you so much. And he slipped a black pony tail on the never-more-grateful ring finger of my left hand.

And what that man did not provide in diamonds, He certainly made up for in intentionality.

What he saw as nothing, felt to me like everything. 

Two days later, I called my Mom. I said I’m getting married today, Mama. Tonight, actually. She said, baby don’t wear black.

I glanced at the bathroom door to my left and smiled at the black cocktail dress waiting to hold me as I stepped into this next season and just said “Mama, I’m okay.”

That night at 10:10P.M., my husband and I signed our marriage licenses in a down town Memphis, Tennessee stark bucks. Afterwards, we took a trip to the museum near by and made our promises to one another in front of a female Pentecostal preacher. She was carrying a knife in her Bible and spat 1st Corinthians 13 faster than busta spit rhymes. We laugh over and over at this adventure. 

Poorly lit areas of downtown Memphis are obviously not the safest places to hold a make-shift ceremony, but I’ll tell you- that night was the second safest time of my life, the first to come only a few months after those Memphis steps when Jesus rescued me from myself.

I tell you all of this to emphasize only a few little, big things: I had cycled through the big church wedding. I had “the big proposal”, the full-of-rose bouquet, and the extravagant honeymoon. I wore the white dress once. 

A wedding is not meant to be a perfect day, but a promise to an unperfect person.

I wore white once; I noticed every stain.

Mama said, “A wedding is not a funeral Katie; black is bad luck” 

You’d have to know my mom- it actually sounded more like a song.. “Kaayyyttiiieeee, baby no, not black”

I wore black this time anyway. It was a funeral in a way. A lot died that night at 10:10 at that Starbucks table.

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil, cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:9-12

I’ve heard it told that marriage is hard. For years and years my elders said marriage is tough, so naturally I wasn’t surprised when it was.

It wasnt until my, now, husband taught me what marriage really was that I realized what marriage wasn’t. Marriage is not hard at all; Marriage is work.

You have to be intentional with your love. It’s a service.

See the bad things as what they are and snuggle down with the good things because those are the things that keep your heart warm. 

Love your spouse in a way that chooses her over everything else; choose her even over you. 

Put her first, look out for her first. 

Do not become complacement in your feelings for her. Kiss her long everyday- the kind of kiss you feel in your toes even after a year(s) of marriage- not just before work and before bed. Make love a life and not a routine.

The last thing is the first priority. Love the Lord. Let Him show you how to be hopeful when it feels hopeless and patient while you wait. And faithfully pause your pride and watch him show out everyday that you’ve had a hard time showing up.

I wore the black dress.

 I let the fairytale of Cinderella’s gold plated pumpkin go. Pretty woman has always been my favorite ending anyway. Not castles and kingdoms, but just a man willing to climb whatever to rescue me. 

I told myself that I couldn’t do it alone.

 I didn’t want to be the girl that could take care of herself anymore. I wanted someone to help me. Someone devoted to choosing me. I needed someone to give me 80% on the days I only had 20 left, and when he only has 10%? I’ll bring the 90. 

I didn’t want a white dress this time around. The one that holds on to every time some one dropped something, something that remembers everything that didn’t go all well-approximated and clean.

I wanted the black one, the one that didn’t remind me of the bad things, but instead complimented the unevenness enough that I could be confident to know that even though I’m aware of imperfections, everything else is lovely. 

And lovely is more.

I wore the black dress. It complemented my new black pony tail, and my heart has been so full ever since because I knew that when that man, bent onto his knee on those wooden floors that night, said I just want to protect what is mine- he meant it.

He’s shown up every day since.

Girls- I hope your hair is big, your bouquet beautiful and your dress perfect, but please remember nothing white ever stays perfectly clean. If you don’t want stains, it doesn’t have to be hard, but it does have to be work.

And for me? 

I would never trade anything for my ponytail propsal signed and sealed for forever with the funniest memories and the sweet smell of coffee. 


Neal,

Thank you for making yourself nothing and me everything. I give you all of my love for all of my life. Happy first anniversary, sweet baby! I love you most, I choose you always.

Xoxo,

Katie